In Lost in the Wilderness, Kalpesh Lathigra explores the unique culture and history-laden environment of the Pine Ridge American Indians of South Dakota, USA. The sensitive, visually lyrical series offers a quiet glimpse of lives defined by poverty and economic hardship as well as a rich heritage, community and cultural identity. By heritage an Indian himself – of the kind Columbus thought he was finding in America – Lathigra also uses the project as a means of reflecting on a personal sense of 'otherness,' considering how passive cultural influences can shape and bias our understanding of groups like the much-represented, yet little-understood American Indians.
From the series Lost in the Wilderness
Born in London, England in 1971, Kalpesh Lathigra studied photography at the London College of Printing. After leaving the course in 1994, he was awarded The Independent Newspaper Photographer Traineeship. Kalpesh worked for The Independent as a staff photographer for one year before spending the next six years freelancing for the major national UK newspapers covering news and features. In 2000, made the decision to focus his work on long term projects and magazine and commercial assignments. In the same year, he was awarded a World Press Photo 1st Arts Prize. In 2003, he embarked on a long term project documenting the lives of widows in India, for which he received the W. Eugene Smith Fellowship and Churchill Fellowship. He is currently is working on a series about two American cities provisionally titled 'Wilmington/Mingo' in the USA. His first book, 'Lost in the Wilderness' was published in 2014. Kalpesh continues to work for the leading international magazines on documentary and portraiture assignments whilst developing his own personal projects.
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